ELV’s Invariable Inverse Endorsement Postulate: The quality of anything is inversely proportional to the number of celebrities endorsing it.
Let’s get a few things out of the way right away: The Sugar Factory is a “concept” restaurant, carefully calculated to corral casino crowds to consume its confections. It neither aspires to be, or can compete with, the better three-meal-a-day joints around town like Simon, MOzen, The Verandah, et al. Its competition is places like the Cheesecake Factory, Serendipity 3, and whatever and wherever sappy, shocking, over-the-top, sweet, sugary succulence is being supplied to our slack-jawed citizens.
For these reasons, The Food Gals® (#s 1 & 2) hated it. Loathed it with the loathing that dare not speak its name. Hated it with a passion ELV usually reserves for beets and deep-dish pizzas (see post below). “Too sweet, too cloying, too caloric….just too too much,” was the chorus ELV heard over and over again at our recent brunch.
“But that’s the point,” was ELV’s rejoinder. “If the measure of a restaurant is how well it accomplishes its intentions, the Sugar Factory succeeds on all levels. Oh, and by the way, the tourists will eat this stuff up.”
“Maybe,” came the chorus, “but the chocolate pizza and raspberry fruit dessert crepe were so teeth-achingly sugared, even one bite was impossible.” (Keep in mind, Food Gal #1 has a serious sweet tooth and she was shouting the loudest.)
“Okay,” said ELV. “I’ll admit those were sinisterly sweet, but the savories were surprisingly satisfying.”
“What about the ham and egg sandwich with country gravy that looked like someone threw up on my plate?” was the retort from FG2.
Maybe it wasn’t much to look at,” came our response, but it was darn tasty and the country (milk) gravy was as good as any I’ve had in Tennessee. Furthermore, the red velvet cakes were fluffy and light, the steak and eggs a decent version, and the BLT crepe chock full of crispy bacon — and who doesn’t love that?”
“And furthermore (ELV was on a roll now), the pizza was a passable pie (when speaking to his ex- and his gf at the same time, ELV is even more alliterative than usual), and those fresh-made doughnuts were addictively good, and the melted chocolate chef Michel Gillet is using in the hazelnut chocolate fondue is a thing of beauty. You can’t assess the food here through the epicurean sensibilities of a L’Atelier or B&B fan, you have to just accept the premise for what it is and see if it succeeds at what it sets out to do.”
“And just what would that be?” was their joint reply. “Overload Americans with huge sugar concoctions and a 22 page, all-things-to-all-people menu? Enough already!”
The problem is, ELV can see all sides of this debate. On a sociological and societal level, The Food Gals are right, of course. Vegas needs another 24 scoop King Kong “Situation” sundae the way it needs another scandalous night club.
But on another level, they’re wrong. Vegas tourists really do eat this stuff up, and they’re here on vacation to cut loose with the pocketbook and the waistline. Damn the calories! Full indulgence ahead! — and places like the SF are there to make them feel sinful in a very sweet sort of way.
It’s not my kind of food. It’s not my kind of restaurant. But if I was a twenty-something on a date, or feeding a crowd, or a dude with kids of all ages, I’d be here all the time.
Bottom line: the food is as good as Serendipity 3, and the American bistro design miles more romantic and fun, although the noise level will be borderline intolerable for anyone over forty.
And we’re still remembering how good that fondue was, and why our dentist and cardiologist don’t want us coming here anymore.
ELV’s first meal here cost him $27. The second one was comped.
In the Paris Hotel and Casino
3655 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109